Sunday, May 30, 1954. President Eisenhower was in the midst of a counteroffensive against Sen. Joseph McCarthy and his charges that communists had infiltrated the highest levels of American government. The United States, Great Britain and France were discussing an accord that would divide Vietnam into two countries, North and South. Gil Hodges homered to lead Brooklyn to a 5-3 victory at the Polo Grounds. And at 8:40 in the evening at the Henry Street Settlement in Manhattan, a 23-year-old dancer and five colleagues gave the first public performance of his choreography, a dance called Jack and the Beanstalk. While the dance soon faded from memory, the choreographer became a giant – the youngest member of the pantheon that created American modern dance, and one of history’s most celebrated artists.
Laura Shapiro once wrote in Newsweek, “Short course in modern dance: in the beginning there was Martha Graham, who changed the face of an art form and discovered a new world. Then there was Merce Cunningham, who stripped away the externals and showed us the heart of movement. And then there was Paul Taylor, who let the sun shine in.”
The Paul Taylor Dance Company and the Paul Taylor 2 Dance Company, created in 1993, have traveled the globe many times over, bringing Mr. Taylor’s ever-burgeoning repertoire to theaters and venues of every size and description in cultural capitals, on college campuses and in rural communities – and often to places modern dance had never been before. The Taylor Company has performed in more than 500 cities in 64 countries, representing the United States at arts festivals in more than 40 countries and touring extensively under the aegis of the U.S. Department of State. In 1997 the Company toured throughout India in celebration of that nation’s 50th Anniversary. Its 1999 engagement in Chile was named the Best International Dance Event of 1999 by the country’s Art Critics’ Circle. In the summer of 2001 the Company toured in the People’s Republic of China and performed in six cities, four of which had never seen American modern dance before. In the spring of 2003 the Company mounted an award-winning four-week, seven-city tour of the United Kingdom. The Company’s performances in China in November 2007 mark its fourth tour there.
While continuing to garner international acclaim, the Paul Taylor Dance Company performs more than half of each touring season in cities throughout the United States. The Company’s New York season in 2005, marking its 50th Anniversary, was attended by more than 25,000 people. In celebration of the Anniversary and 50 years of creativity by one of the most extraordinary artists the world has ever known, the Taylor Foundation presented Mr. Taylor’s works in all 50 States between March 2004 and November 2005. That tour underscored the Taylor Company’s historic role as one of the early touring companies of American modern dance.
In 2012, Mr. Taylor moved his Company’s New York performances to the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center, where the Company enjoyed its first million-dollar season. In 2015 the Paul Taylor Dance Company performed as part of Mr. Taylor’s new initiative, Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance. The season also included the Limon Dance Company performing Doris Humphrey’s Passacaglia (1938) and Shen Wei Dance Arts performing Shen Wei’s Rite of Spring (2004). The season featured music performed live by Orchestra of St. Luke’s, conducted by longtime Taylor collaborator Donald York.
Beginning with its first television appearance for the Dance in America series in 1978, the Paul Taylor Dance Company has appeared on PBS in nine different programs, including the 1991 Emmy Award-winning Speaking in Tongues. and The Wrecker’s Ball – including Company B, Funny Papers, and A Field of Grass – which was nominated for an Emmy Award in 1997. In 1999 the PBS American Masters series aired Dancemaker, the Academy Award nominated documentary about Mr. Taylor and his Company, which is available on home video.
The following dancers, listed alphabetically, were members of the Paul Taylor Dance Company or Taylor 2. The lists do not include current members of the Companies.
Paul Taylor Dance Company
Janet Aaron / Geulah Abrahams / Carolyn Adams / Ruth Andrien / Toby Armour / Andrew Asnes / Pina Bausch / Heather Berest / Rachel Berman / Shareen Blair / Donald Boiteau / Joseph Bowie / Karen Brook / Elie Chaib / Richard Chen See / Mary Cochran / Joan Coddington / Patrick Corbin / Hernando Cortez / Lorraine Crocket / Eileen Cropley / Therese Cura / Phena Darner / Charlene Davis / Bettie de Jong / Laura Dean / Michael Deane / Anita Dencks / Constance Dinapoli / Susan Dodge / Senta Driver / Orion Duckstein / Jill Echo / Kristi Egtvedt / Thomas Evert / Daniel Ezralow / Viola Farber / Donya Feuer / Gerald Fitzgerald / Christopher Gillis / Toby Glanternik / Alice Temkin Green / David Grenke / Daniel Grossman / Nicholas Gunn / Caryn Heilman / Linda Hodes / Francie Huber / Barbara Janezic / Kate Johnson / Robert Kahn / Akiko Kanda / James Karr / Elizabeth Keen / Sandra Keery / Linda Kent / Cliff Keuter / Nathaniel Keuter / Renee Kimball / Sharon Kinney / Jane Kosminsky / Raymond Kurshall / Andy LeBeau / Daniel Lewis / Maureen Mansfield / Bonnie Mathis / Joao Mauricio / Annmaria Mazzini / Cathy McCann / Susan McGuire / Molly Moore / Earnest Morgan / Monica Morris / Silvia Nevjinsky / Maggie Newman / Jack Nightingale / David Parsons / Thomas Patrick / Terry Pexton / Paul Plumadore / Robert Powell / Gregory Reynolds / Denise Roberts / Mabel Robinson / Manuel Rodriguez / Aileen Roehl / Carol Rubenstein / Alec Rubin / Marian Sarach / Ruby Shang / Jeffrey Smith / Leslie Snow / Eileen Stanford / Cynthia Stone / Sandra Stone / Britt Swanson / Edward Talton-Jackson / Paul Taylor / Twyla Tharp / Julie Tice / Ted Thomas / Doris Thurston / Kristi Tornga / Kenneth Tosti / Barbara Tucker / Matt Turney / Takehiro Ueyama / Victoria Uris / Angela Vaillancourt / David Vaughan / Lisa Viola / Jeff Wadlington / Dan Wagoner / Elizabeth Walton / James Waring / Barry Wizoreck / Karla Wolfangle / Raegan Wood / Douglas Wright / Lila York / Amy Young
Mikhail Baryshnikov / Sonja Van Beers / Suzanne Farrell / Peter Frame / Peter Martins / Rudolf Nureyev
Tim Acito / Dara Adler / Hank Bamberger / Robin Branch / Winston Dynamite Brown / John Byrne / Nic Ceynowa / Alison Cook / Gail Cox / Susan Dodge / Orion Duckstein / Jill Echo / Kristi Egtvedt / John Eirich / Michelle Fleet / Joseph Gallerizzo / Vernon Gooden / Francisco Graciano / Shanti Guirao / Madelyn Ho / Justin Kahan / Michael Kerns / Robert Kleinendorst / Andy LeBeau / Chad Levy / Sean Mahoney / Christina Lynch Markham / Amy Marshall / Annmaria Mazzini / Leajato Robinson / Manuel Sanchez / Jeffrey Smith / Gabriel Speiller / Julie Tice / Michael Trusnovec / Rebeccca Vargus / Jamie Rae Walker / Latra Wilson / Jared Wootan / Amy Young